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Thursday, 28 May 2009

PLAIDOYER : Développement d’aptitudes pour les dirigeants d’ONG

1.PLAIDOYER : Développement d’aptitudes pour les dirigeants d’ONG

Série de manuels de formation du CEDPA Volume IX
http://www.cedpa.org/uploaded_files/advocacy_french_all.pdf

2. Le pillage des ressources naturelles de la RDC
http://www.ladocumentationfrancaise.fr/dossiers/conflit-grands-lacs/pillage-ressources-naturelles-rdc.shtml

3.Autochtones et changements climatiques

Les Bakas, dans l’est du Cameroun, se servent de caméras vidéo fournies par le PNUD et les partenaires du Fonds mondial pour l’environnement afin de documenter la façon dont les changements climatiques abîment les forêts où ils vivent. C’est ainsi, entre autres, que le PNUD aide les peuples autochtones, dont les représentants vont se retrouver au siège des Nations Unies à New York du 18 au 29 mai pour débattre de la mise en application de l’accord historique de 2007 concernant les droits des peuples autochtones.Les Bakas, qui vivent dans les forêts d’Afrique centrale, ont créé une organisation appelée Okani (« Debout ! ») pour aider à former d’autres communautés dans l’art de filmer et de raconter une histoire, afin qu’ils puissent parler de leur vie. Leur premier film montre comment ils réagissent aux impacts du changement climatique et à la transformation brutale de leur habitat.« Les arbres portent moins de fruits, le sol a perdu de son humidité, explique un chasseur-cueilleur devant la caméra. Les femmes bakas aiment pêcher. Cela fait partie de nos traditions. Mais le cours d’eau commence à s’assécher et les poissons meurent. La Terre a changé. »

http://content.undp.org/go/newsroom/2009/may/indigenous-groups-bear-witness-to-climate-change-damage-.fr?lang=fr

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Biodiversity-Rich Ecoregions in Africa Need Protection

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Biological diversity, the variety and variability among living organisms and the environment in which they occur, is important to maintain life-sustaining systems of the biosphere, yet is threatened by many human activities. Recently the Global Biodiversity Assessment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded that the adverse effects of human impacts on biodiversity are increasing dramatically and threatening the very foundation of sustainable development. The total number of species that inhabit the planet is unknown and it is believed that many extinctions will occur even before they have been named and described.

It is estimated that 85-90 percent of all species can be protected by setting aside areas of high biodiversity before they are further degraded, without having to inventory species individually. It is generally assumed that most terrestrial species are found in the tropics. Realistically, only a relatively small portion of the total land area is likely to be devoted to biodiversity conservation; hence, it is critical to geographically identify areas rich in species diversity, unprotected species diversity and endemism (species native or confined to a particular area) as a first step toward the protection of remaining natural habitats before they are destroyed.

AFRICA, AFRICANISTS, AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

The African studies community has generally been unsure how to think about the project of wildlife conservation in sub-Saharan Africa. It is almostas though we Africanists, with our social science and humanities focuses, are embarrassed by the importance of this part of the historical and contemporaryAfrican experience and the degree to which Africa is popularly and internationally associated with wildlife and wildlife habitat.

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/african_studies_review/v048/48.1rogers.pdf
Mainstreaming Climate Change into Agricultural
Mainstreaming Climate Change into Agricultural......New from World Agroforestry CentreMainstreaming Climate Change into Agricultural Education: Challenges and PerspectivesClimate change is adversely affecting practically all economic sectors. Africa is projected to have a future associated with scarce water, declining agricultural yields, encroaching desert and damaged coastal infrastructure. With graduating students from tertiary agriculture and natural resource management institutions expected to provide solutions to development challenges, it is unfortunate that climate change has not been integrated into the curricula to any meaningful extent.

Consequently graduating students are ill-equipped to advise meaningfully on the challenges posed by climate change.This working paper is an outcome of a symposium organized to share information on climate change challenges for agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa; explore methods of mainstreaming climate change knowledge into agricultural education; and identify recommendations on effective policies, institutions and capacity.

The brief lays down the key issues in climate change: who is affected and what direction we are taking if the negative effects presented by climate change are not checked. It presents a compelling argument on the role of tertiary education in making meaningful contributions and goes further to present an action plan to ensure that climate change is integrated into the curricula of tertiary agriculture and natural resource management institutions including the key components of such a curricula.Chakeredza, S.; Temu, A.B.; Yaye, A.; Mukingwa, S.; Saka, J..D.K. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Lilongwe (Malawi). SADC-ICRAF Agroforestry Project. 2009. Mainstreaming climate change into agricultural education: challenges and perspectives. -- Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) ICRAF Working Paper no. 82, 30p.
http://intranet/downloads/publications/PDFs/WP15993.PDFhttp://www.worldagroforestry.org/downloads/publications/PDFs/WP15993.PDF

Sustainable Agriculture in Africa

Sustainable Agriculture in Africa: Towards A New Paradigm – TheEmbeddedness Approach.IntroductionThis paper argues that the conventional paradigm of sustainable agriculture1{SA} in Africa has disenfranchised smallholder farmers as researchers and principal actors in the pursuit of answers to this question. Many scientists, agricultural research institutions and policymakers in Africa have conceptualised and treated SA as a technical or scientific issue – the pursuit of agricultural productivity and environmental conservation through ‘modern’ agricultural practices and techniques - new or improved crop varieties, cropping patterns/methods, use of modern equipment, chemicals, pesticides, et cetera {Barrett, et al, 2000 and Pretty, 1995, fora good review of the literature on this view}.

Underlying this conception are two worn out but popular assumptions: a} traditional African agriculture is inefficient, unproductive and backward, and b} the government, the donor and the scientist know what is best for theAfrican farmer. Nobel Laureate Theodore Schultz {1964} had long demolished the first view by demonstrating that peasant farmers may be poor but are not necessarily inefficient.Participatory development literature equally ought to have laid the second view to rest, however, for reasons underscored elsewhere in this paper, both views persist.

One result of this technologically biased conceptualisation has been a misguided top-down policy approach oriented towards the creation of ‘modern agriculture’, which has, among other things, engendered exploitative and irrelevant institutional structures, undermined and marginalized local knowledge and preferences, and proven expensive and unsustainable,{Brokensha, et al, 1980, Forsyth et al, 1998, Kuyek, 2002,}. The other has been a proliferation of technologically biased studies which not only replicate erroneous assumptions about both the nature of, and how SA in Africa might be achieved, but also ignore or obscure broader historical, social, economic, political and institutional factors that impact on the prospects of SA {Astone, 1998, Barrett et al, 2000}.

http://www.codesria.org/Links/conferences/ifs/Obote.pdf

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Agriculture and Climate Change

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An Agenda for Negotiation in Copenhagen, December 2009.Goal: Put agriculture on the agenda of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen.If fundamental climate change mitigation and adaptation goals are to be met, international climate negotiations must include agriculture.

Agriculture and climate change are linked in important ways, and this brief focuses on three: (1) climate change will have large effects on agriculture, but precisely where and how much are uncertain, (2) agriculture can help mitigate climate change, and (3) poor farmers will need help adapting to climate change. As negotiations get underway in advance of the meeting of the 15th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December 2009, this brief suggests negotiating outcomes for both mitigation and adaptation funding that will support climate change goals while enhancing the well-being of people who manage and depend on agriculture, especially in the developing world.Climate change will affect agriculture, but it is uncertain where and how muchClimate change will have dramatic consequences for agriculture. Water sources will become more variable, droughts and floods will stress agricultural systems, some coastal food-producing areas will be inundated by the seas, and food production will fall in some places in the interior.

Developing economies and the poorest of the poor likely will be hardest hit. Overall, however, substantial uncertainty remains about where the effects will be greatest.Agricultural outcomes are determined by complex interactions among people, policies, and nature. Crops and animals are affected by changes in temperature and precipitation, but they are also influenced by human investments such as irrigation systems, transportation infrastructure, and animal shelters.

Given the uncertainties about where climate change will take place and how farmers will respond, much is still unknown about the effects of climate change on agricultural production, consumption, and human well-being, making it difficult to move forward on policies to combat the effects of climate change.Suggested negotiating outcome: Fund research on the interactions between climate change and agricultureResearch should be funded that improves understanding and predictions of the interactions between climate change and agriculture.

Climate change assessment tools are needed that are more geographically precise, that are more useful for agricultural policy and program review and scenario assessment, that more explicitly incorporate the biophysical constraints that affect agricultural productivity, and that better integrate biophysical and socioeconomic scenarios.Agriculture can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissionsToday, agriculture contributes about 14 percent of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and land-use change, including forest loss, contributes another 19 percent. The relative contributions differ dramatically by region.

The developing world accounts for about 50 percent of agricultural emissions and 80 percent of land-use change and forestry emissions.The formal inclusion of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) in the current negotiations is a result of a new appreciation of the importance of this source of GHGs and initial findings of low-cost opportunities to reduce them.

Significant challenges remain, however. What are the best ways to dissuade poor people from cutting down trees and converting other lands to unsustainable agricultural practices and to encourage them to adopt technologies and management strategies that mitigate carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions? The tasks ahead include identifying and supporting the most appropriate approaches in farmers’ fields and monitoring their implementation.

Suggested negotiating outcome: Fund cost-effective mitigation in agriculture and research on promising technologies and management systemsAgriculture has huge potential to cost-effectively mitigate GHGs through changes in agricultural technologies and management practices. Changing crop mixes to include more plants that are perennial or have deep root systems increases the amount of carbon stored in the soil. Cultivation systems that leave residues and reduce tillage, especially deep tillage, encourage the buildup of soil carbon. Shifting land use from annual crops to perennial crops, pasture, and agroforestry increases both above- and below-ground carbon stocks.

Changes in crop genetics and the management of irrigation, fertilizer use, and soils can reduce both nitrous oxide and methane emissions. Changes in livestock species and improved feeding practices can also cut methane emissions. Mitigation funding programs arising from the negotiations should thus include agriculture.Suggested negotiating outcome: Fund low-cost systems for monitoring agricultural mitigationIt is much easier to monitor 1,500 U.S. coal-fired power plants than several million smallholder farmers who rely on field, pasture, and forest for their livelihoods. Nonetheless, promising technologies exist for reducing the costs of tracking the performance of agricultural mitigation programs. For example, microsatellites can be used for frequent, high-resolution land cover imaging, inexpensive standardized methods are available to test soil carbon, and simple assessment methods can adequately quantify the effects of management technologies on methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

These monitoring technologies and others require funding.Suggested negotiating outcome: Allow innovative payment mechanisms and support for novel institutions for agricultural mitigationAgricultural production differs qualitatively from other sources of GHGs in that the sources are individually small, geographically dispersed, and often served by inadequate physical and institutional infrastructure.

Cost-effective payment mechanisms to encourage agricultural mitigation must reflect these differences. Beyond the traditional schemes developed under the Kyoto Protocol, the negotiating outcome should allow and encourage alternatives that take advantage of these differences, exploiting activities beyond project-specific funding.

Examples include land retirement contracts, one-time payments for physical infrastructure investments that have long-term mitigation effects, and payments for institutional innovations that encourage mitigating behavior in common property resources.Cost-effective ways are needed to help poor farmers adapt to climate changeEven with the best efforts to mitigate climate change, it is inevitable that poor farmers will be affected. The goal is to find and fund the most cost-effective ways to help the poor adapt to the changes, a daunting task because of uncertainty about the magnitude of possible changes, their geographic distribution, and the long lead times needed to implement adaptation efforts.Suggested negotiating outcome: Allow funding mechanisms that recognize the connection between pro-poor development policies for sustainable growth and sound climate change policies.

A pro-growth, pro-poor development agenda that supports agricultural sustainability also contributes to climate change adaptation. Adaptation is easier when individuals have more resources at their command and operate in an economic environment with the flexibility to respond quickly to changes. If, as seems likely, the effects of climate change will fall disproportionately on poor farmers, a policy environment that enhances opportunities for smallholders will also be good for climate change adaptation.

Such an environment would include more investment in agricultural research and extension, rural infrastructure, and access to markets for small farmers. Funding should support these kinds of policy changes.Suggested negotiating outcome: Allow funding mechanisms that recognize and support synergies between adaptation and mitigationMany changes to management systems that make them more resilient to climate change also increase carbon sequestration. Conservation tillage increases soil water retention in the face of drought while also sequestering carbon below ground. Small-scale irrigation facilities not only conserve water in the face of greater variability, but also increase crop productivity and soil carbon.

Agroforestry systems increase above- and below-ground carbon storage while also increasing water storage below ground, even in the face of extreme climate events. Properly managed rangelands can cope better with drought and sequester significant amounts of carbon. Project- and programbased funding schemes that support adaptation should also be able to draw on mitigation resources.Suggested negotiating outcome: Provide funds for agricultural science and technology.Even without climate change, greater investments in agricultural science and technology are needed to meet the demands of a world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Many of these people will live in the developing world, have higher incomes, and desire a more diverse diet.

Agriculture science- and technology-based solutions are essential to meet those demands.Climate change places new and more challenging demands on agricultural productivity. It is urgent to pursue crop and livestock research, including biotechnology, to help overcome stresses related to climate change such as heat, drought, and novel pathogens. Crops and livestock are needed that respond reasonably well in a range of production environments rather than extremely well in a narrow set of climate conditions. Research is also needed on how dietary changes in food animals can reduce methane emissions.

One of the key lessons of the Green Revolution is that improved agricultural productivity, even if not targeted to the poorest of the poor, can be a powerful mechanism for alleviating poverty indirectly by creating jobs and lowering food prices.

Productivity enhancements that increase farmers’ resilience in the face of climate change pressures will likely have similar poverty-reducing effects.Suggested negotiating outcome: Provide funds for infrastructure and institutional innovations.Improvements in water productivity are critical, and climate change, by making rainfall more variable and changing its spatial distribution, will exacerbate the need for better water harvesting, storage, and management. Equally important is supporting innovative institutional mechanisms that give agricultural water users incentives to conserve.

Investments in rural infrastructure, both physical (such as roads, market buildings, and storage facilities) and institutional (such as extension programs, credit and input markets, and reduced barriers to internal trade) are needed to enhance the resilience of agriculture in the face of the uncertainties of climate change.Suggested negotiating outcome: Provide funds for data collection on the local context of agriculture.Agriculture is an intensely local activity.

Crop and livestock productivity, market access, and the effects of climate all are extremely location specific. Yet global efforts to collect and disseminate data on the spatial nature of agriculture, especially over time, are limited. Countries have reduced funding for national statistical programs, and remote sensed systems are still inadequate to the task of monitoring global change. Understanding agriculture-climate interactions well enough to support adaptation and mitigation activities based on land use requires major improvements in data collection and provision.

Concluding RemarksAgricultural activities around the world are responsible for almost 15 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions, could be an important sink for emissions from other sectors, and are likely to be altered dramatically by climate change.

Agriculture also provides a living for more than half of the world’s poorest people. The ongoing negotiations to address climate change provide a unique opportunity to combine low-cost mitigation and essential adaptation outcomes with poverty reduction.

http://www.ifpri.org/2020/focus/focus16/Focus16_01.pdf

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West Africa faces 'megadroughts'

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Severe droughts lasting centuries have happened often in West Africa's recent history, and another one is almost inevitable, researchers say.Analysis of sediments in a Ghanaian lake shows the last of these "megadroughts" ended 250 years ago.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers suggest man-made climate change may make the situation worse.But, they say, the droughts are going to happen again anyway, and societies should begin planning for them.

"It's disconcerting - it suggests we're vulnerable to a longer-lasting drought than we've seen in our lifetime," said Tim Shanahan from the University of Texas in Austin, who led the research team.“ What West Africa won't handle - and neither will California - is the 100-year-long, deep megadrought ”Professor Michael Schlesinger"If the region were to shift into one of these droughts it would be very difficult for people to adapt; and we need to develop an adaptation policy."The region's most recent dry episode was the Sahel drought which claimed at least 100,000 lives, perhaps as many as one million, in the 1970s and 80s.But the historical "megadroughts" were longer-lasting and even more devoid of precipitation, the researchers found.

Deep impactThe evidence comes from Lake Bosumtwi in southern Ghana, a deep lake formed in a meteorite impact crater.Sediments laid down each year form neat, precise layers."Nothing lives at the bottom of the lake, so nothing disturbs these layers," said Professor Shanahan."Most lakes have this seasonal deposition, but it's rare in the tropics to find a lake where the bottom is undisturbed."Wet and dry years are distinguished by the ratio of two oxygen isotopes in the sediment.

Droughts lasting a few decades occur regularly over the 3,000 years contained in this record.They appear to be linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), a natural climatic cycle in which sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean vary over time.The Sahel drought coincided with a cool phase of the AMO. This changes wind patterns, and decreases the strength of the monsoon rains in this region.

However, the cause of the longer, multi-century droughts is not clear."That's one of the scary aspects - we have no idea what causes them," said Jonathan Overpeck from the University of Arizona, who oversaw the research effort."In Africa, we could cross the threshold, driving the system into one of these droughts, without even knowing why.

"Money flowsMichael Schlesinger, who first characterised the AMO a decade ago but was not involved in the current study, suggested a similarity between the outlook for West Africa and the southwestern portion of the US.There, research has also shown a history of shorter and longer droughts."There are two things that need to be done, one of which California and Arizona and so on have done - and that is put in the water collection and distribution infrastructure to deal with the short periods of not very intense water stress," the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientist told BBC News."What West Africa won't handle - and neither will California - is the 100-year-long, deep megadrought.

"The only way I can see of dealing with that is desalination; if push comes to shove and these megadroughts appear - and they will, and it'll probably be exacerbated by man-made global warming - that will be the only thing to do."Whereas the southwestern US could afford desalination, it is not clear that West African countries could - nor do they all have the infrastructure to move water inland.The possibility of man-made climate change causing worse droughts is an example of the impacts that many developing countries fear, and which causes them to seek money from richer countries to protect their societies and economies.

Professor Schlesinger is at one with Tim Shanahan's team in suggesting that human-induced climate change would be likely to make droughts more severe, although computer models of climate produce varying projections for rainfall change over the West African region.But even without changing the chances of drought, rising temperatures worsen the region's outlook, suggested Professor Overpeck."Even if we were able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions somewhat, we would still probably have warming in this region of about 2-4C over the century, and that could make droughts much harder to adapt to when they occur," he said."What it's pointing to is the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; but you can't do it all with mitigation, just as you can't do it all with adaptation.

"Richard.Black-INTERNET@bbc.co.ukStory from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8003060.stm

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The Impacts of Climate Change on Africa

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The Impacts of Climate Change on AfricaBy: Mike Hulme, Declan Conway, Kelly, M., Subak, S., Tom E. DowningThis paper considers the problem of determining future climate change in Africa due to human modification of the global atmosphere. Some of our main conclusions may be summarised as follows:* Natural climate variability in Africa, particularly rainfall, is large. This variability can be manifest regionally as severe droughts on yearly time-scales or as more prolonged desiccation over one or more decades.

An increasing difficulty with interpreting the historic climate record is knowing the extent to which these modes of variability are truly natural or are being altered by human activities.* The nature of future climate change for Africa is not known with any great confidence. Climate change scenarios have been constructed here in a systematic manner making clear their assumptions and uncertainties, but it remains impossible to attach specific probabilities to them. What is known is that temperatures are likely to continue to rise over most of Africa and that increases in rainfall will be necessary in order to compensate for the loss of moisture from the land surface due to elevated evaporation rates. Whether such increases in rainfall will occur continent-wide seems unlikely.* There is a paucity of detailed climate change impact case studies for Africa.

This seems due to a combination of factors including: a lack of locally calibrated models, a shortage of observational data in computer-readable form and an exclusion of African scientists from accessing the results of global climate and climate impact models. Increased international support for indigenous studies is called for to release the expertise which resides within Africa to address these questions.* The level of vulnerability of African societies to climate change depends on their present-day vulnerability which is determined by their economic, political and institutional capabilities.

Historical evidence shows that both natural and managed ecosystems in Africa face substantial adverse impacts from existing climate variability, the nature of which will almost certainly be altered by longer-term climate change. The severity of such impacts will be determined to a large extent by what happens to rainfall over the continent.

This is largely unknown at the present time.* Future demographic changes in Africa and the development path the continent pursues will determine the eventual significance of global warming for Africa. Whether technological innovation will enable the adaptive capacity of ecosystems and societies to develop at a rate commensurate with climate change and population growth is a key question for all world regions. The question is more pressing for Africa, however, because of her low investment base at present and higher population growth rate than other regions.* the scope for alternative African emissions trajectories to significantly alter global warming rates over the next 100* Years is very limited.

Differences of the order of only one or two tenths of a degree Celsius by the year 2100 due to alternative emissions contributions from Africa seem likely. The level of future vulnerability of African societies to climate change is relatively insensitive to such marginal changes in the rate of global warming. If the impacts of climate change on Africa are to be significantly reduced, substantial emission cuts are needed worldwide.

http://www.uea.ac.uk/env/cserge/pub/wp/gec/gec_1995_12.pdf

25 April 2009
The price tag for adapting to climate change

Countries need to work out the costs of adapting to climate change realisticallyJOHANNESBURG, 30 March 2009 (IRIN)

- Countries staring into a gloomy future of low food production, less water, higher storm surges, longer dry periods and other expensive consequences of climate change have been told they can adapt at a cost ranging from several hundred billion dollars to over a trillion dollars.The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has stepped in to help overwhelmed developing countries calculate the cost of implementing measures not only to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions but also to adapt to climate change."This is a reality check - we are trying to assist countries go about it in a realistic and practical way," said Yolando Velasco, head of UNFCCC's financial cooperation unit.The assistance is being provided by way of the National Economic and Environmental Development Study (NEEDS) in nine pilot countries: Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines."Actually, when we announced the study only nine countries came forward – the offer was open to everyone," Velasco said.How it worksThe study estimates the cost of implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in the country; then national consultants, with the engagement of the ministries of finance and planning, identify policy and finance instruments available to support the identified measures.

This is a reality check - we are trying to assist countries go about it in a realistic and practical way"Countries implementing the NEEDS project may develop their own national financial strategies and frameworks to coordinate resources accessed nationally and from the financial mechanism of the convention [UNFCCC], and other bilateral and multilateral sources," said Velasco.

With the financing priorities worked out, the countries stand a better chance of accessing funds from the Convention, including the Adaptation Fund set up under UNFCCC auspices.The Fund is expected to raise money from a levy of about two percent on credits generated by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), set up under the Kyoto Protocol, the global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

UNFCCC hopes to present the NEEDS study findings at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen in December 2009, which will look at a new global agreement to come into effect after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.The needOECD's book is the first to take a critical look at all the major studies on the costs of adapting to climate changeThe UNFCCC has come up with a price tag of between US$ 49 billion and $171 billion per year globally for adaptation by 2030, based on investment and financial flows in five sectors: agriculture, forestry and fisheries, water supply, human health, coastal zones, and infrastructure."The UNFCCC assessment is perhaps the most rigorous one out there, as it breaks down the costs sectorally and examines the impact in detail," said Shardul Agrawala, principal economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the lead author of a new book that takes a critical look at all the studies on adaptation costs.Most global studies, "while relevant for the international discussion on adaptation and its financing, face serious limitations,” he said."In most cases, the estimates do not have a direct attribution to specific adaptation activities, nor are the benefits of adaptation investments articulated, and many just stack upon the assumptions made in preceding studies and the results are consequently not truly independent."The book, which Agrawala co-wrote with Samuel Fankhauser, principal economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, also examined the costs of adapting to climate change drawn up by the Least Developed Countries, with specific projects listed as part of the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) under the UNFCCC.The cost of implementing all the projects identified by 22 countries, which had submitted their NAPA by the end of 2007, was about US$472 million, but Agrawala noted that the mandate had been limited to identifying priority projects.

NEEDS was a "sensible way to go about integrating adaptation at a higher strategic level examining all the sectors in the national planning process,” he said. “In some sectors it might just need a change in existing policy or regulations."UNFCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer at the opening of the UN meeting in Bonn, Germany, the first in a series of three-session meetings aimed at producing a draft document to succeed the Kyoto ProtocolCall for adaptation fundsNegotiations to draw up a new climate change treaty got under way this week at a UN meeting in Bonn, Germany, the first in a series of three-session meetings aimed at producing a draft document to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin of the International Institute for Sustainable Development reported that Bangladesh had called for a mechanism to enable prompt financial support to respond to localized extreme events, and had highlighted the proposal for an international air travel levy to raise additional funding for adaptation.Agrawala said funds might be hard to come by in the current economic environment, but it did open a "window of opportunity" because many countries were investing in infrastructure as part of their economic stimulus packages.

"They could use the opportunity to factor in the long-term climate risk while making these investments,” he said. “It is time to think strategically."

source: http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=83701

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Climate change and Africa

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his paper reviews observed (1900-2000) and possible future (2000-2100) continent-wide changes in temperature and rainfall for Africa. For the historic period we draw upon a new observed global climate data set which allows us to explore aspects of regional climate change related to diurnal temperature range and rainfall variability. The latter includes an investigation of regions where seasonal rainfall is sensitive to El Niño climate variability. This review of past climate change provides the context for our scenarios of future greenhouse gas-induced climate change in Africa. These scenarios draw upon the new preliminary emissions scenarios prepared for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Third Assessment Report, a suite of recent global climate model experiments, and a simple climate model to linkthese two sets of analyses.

We present a range of four climate futures for Africa, focusing on changes in both continental and regional seasonal-mean temperature and rainfall. Estimates of associated changes in global CO2 concentration and global-mean sea-level change are also supplied. These scenarios draw upon some of the most recent climate modelling work. We also identify some fundamental limitations toknowledge with regard to future African climate.These include the often poor representation of El Niño climate variability in global climate models, and the absence in these models of any representation of regional changes in land cover and dust and biomass aerosol loadings. These omitted processes may well have important consequences for future African climates, especially at regional scales. We conclude by discussing the value of the sort of climate change scenarios presented here and how best they should be used in national and regional vulnerability and adaptation assessments.http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~mikeh/pubs/cr_africa.pdf

Climate change could worsen African 'megadroughts'
By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment CorrespondentWASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) - The recent decades-long drought that killed 100,000 people in Africa's Sahel may be a small foretaste of monstrous "megadroughts" that could grip the region as global climate change worsens, scientists reported on Thursday.Droughts, some lasting for centuries, are part of the normal pattern in sub-Saharan Africa. But the added stress of a warming world will make these dry periods more severe and more difficult for the people who live there, the scientists said."Clearly, much of West Africa is already on the edge of sustainability, and the situation could become much more dire in the future with increased global warming," said University of Arizona climatologist Jonathan Overpeck, a co-author of the study published in the journal Science.The Sahel is an area between the Sahara desert and the wetter parts of equatorial Africa that stretches across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.Overpeck and his colleagues studied sediments beneath Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana that gave an almost year-by-year record of droughts in the area going back 3,000 years.

Until now, the instrumental climate record in this region stretched back only 100 years or so.The researchers found a pattern of decades-long droughts like the one that began in the Sahel in the 1960s that killed at least 100,000 people, as well as centuries-long "megadroughts" throughout this long period, with the most recent lasting from 1400 to 1750.The scientists also described signs of submerged forests that grew around the lake when it dried up for hundreds of years.

The tops of some of these tropical trees can still be seen poking up from the lake water.RISING TEMPERATURES, NASTIER DROUGHTSDuring the recent Sahel drought, the lake's water level dropped perhaps 5 yards (meters). By contrast, during megadroughts the level fell by as much as 30 yards (meters)."What's disconcerting about this record is that it suggests that the most recent drought was relatively minor in the context of the West African drought history," said Timothy Shanahan of the University of Texas, a co-author of the study.

The most recent decades of data culled from Lake Bosumtwi show that droughts there appear to be linked to fluctuations in sea surface temperatures, a pattern known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO, the researchers said."One of the scary aspects of our record is how the Atlantic ... changes the water balance over West Africa on multidecadal time scales," Overpeck said in a telephone briefing.

The cause of centuries-long megadroughts is not known, but he said the added burden of climate change could make this kind of drought more devastating.Temperatures in this region are expected to rise by 5 to 10 degrees F (2.77 to 5.55 degrees C) this century, the scientists said, even if there is some curbing of the greenhouse emissions that spur climate change."We might actually proceed into the future ... we could cross a threshold driving the (climate) system into one of those big droughts without even knowing it's coming," Overpeck said.http://uk.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUKN16255903._CH_.2420

Climate Change and Agriculture in Africa
Analysis of the impacts of climate change suggests that agro-ecological systems are the most vulnerable sectors. Agriculture in low latitude developing countries is expected to be especially vulnerable because climates of many of these countries are already too hot. Further warming is consequently expected to reduce crop productivity adversely.

These effects are exacerbated by the fact that agriculture and agro-ecological systems are especially prominent in the economies of African countries and the systems tend to be less capital and technology intensive. Predictions of impacts across regions consequently suggest large changes in the agricultural systems of low latitude (mostly, developing) countrieshttp://www.ceepa.co.za/Climate_Change/index.html

Climate Change and Africa
Climate change and AfricaClimate change is a major threat to sustainable growth and development in Africa, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: urgent action is needed. Although Africa is the continent least responsible for climate change, it is particularly vulnerable to the effects, including reduced agricultural production, worsening food security, the increased incidence of both flooding anddrought, spreading disease and an increased risk of conflict over scarce land and water resources. Support from development partners is needed to help Africa cope with these effects.

Action on a broader range of issues is also needed - by the wider international community, by multilateral and bilateral development agencies, and by African governments themselves. It is important that Africashould speak with a strong unified voice in future international negotiations, and that this voice should be heardhttp://www.africapartnershipforum.org/dataoecd/57/7/38897900.pdf

Climate change will be catastrophe for Africa
Climate change will be catastrophe for AfricaBy Paul VallelyAfrica is facing the greatest catastrophe in human history. Climate change represents a nightmare scenario for the future of the people of the world's poorest continent, according to the official preparing a top- level report which is due to land on the desks of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in later this year.

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Emerging analysis seen by the Stern Review into the economic impact of climate change suggests one of the worst affected places on the planet will also be the poorest.Global warming could cause temperature rises double those elsewhere. The consequence would be dramatic declines in rainfall and a fall in crop yields that could make previous famines look like small tragedies. Desertification could accelerate around the Sahara. There are likely to be severe water shortages in many parts of the continent.Diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and cholera may increase. As many as 67 million more people could be at risk of malaria epidemics by the 2080s. As a result, huge sections of the population may be set on the move.The report, by Sir Nick Stern, head of Government Economic Policy, is due to be completed in October.

The review is still in progress, but evidence given by the Hadley Centre, one of Europe's leading research bodies on climate change, predicts an average rise in global temperatures of between 2.4 to 5.4C.But for Africa temperature rises over many areas will be double the global average. Sir Nick explained: "For example, under a high emissions scenario, global temperatures will rise by over 4C by the 2080s, but according to some models temperatures in Africa could rise by up to 7C in southern Africa and 8C in northern Africa - almost double the global average".Some of the poorest parts of the continent will be the worst hit. "The interior of the continent and particularly the Sahara and southern Africa will be most seriously affected, experiencing the most extreme temperature rises coupled with severe reductions in rainfall," a draft says."Africa is already vulnerable to climate variability," it continues. "Small rises in temperature and reductions in rainfall could 'tip the balance' and lead to severe water shortages and reductions in crop yields".

These could fall by as much as 30 per cent by the 2050s.Sir Nick's remarks comes on top of one by the charity Christian Aid, which suggested that up to 182 million people in sub-Saharan Africa could die of diseases directly attributable to climate change by the end of the century. But where the aid agency's report seemed to be based on extrapolations of existing figures - sources were not given - the submissions to the Stern Review are based on well-sourced blue-chip scientific evidence.The impact of the change will be difficult to handle and it will be potentially very long lasting. "It is very serious," Sir Nick said.

Two things give his conclusions added urgency, he said: the scientific evidence on global warming is strengthening daily, and there are risks over and above those that are usually considered. For example, the release of methane from the permafrost could bring an acceleration that is not factored into many existing models on climate change.The disproportionate impact on Africa will be for a combination of reasons.

Global warming will be greater over land than over sea because land retains heat more than water. But it will also be greatest in the tropics and in low altitudes. There is also increasing evidence that it will be particularly hit by the effect of vertical rises and falls in air currents."West Africa will get drier and east Africa will get wetter," Sir Nick said. However, that will not necessarily be good news for drought-hit areas such as Ethiopia. Observations in India already show areas getting twice the rainfall in half the number of days, causing storms and floods and even greater soil erosion."We can provide resources to help people adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change in the coming years," concludes Sir Nick. "But if we act now, and strongly, to mitigate climate change, it is likely that we could reduce the risks of these scenarios while continuing economic growth."Main areas of concern* Temperature rises over many areas will be greater than the global average.

The general predicted rise is 4C by the 2080s. But temperatures could rise to 7C in southern Africa and 8C in northern Africa - almost double the global average* Significant changes in rainfall could be experienced across the continent, with the area around the Sahara and in southern Africa* Desertification is likely to increase around the Sahara, causing populations to move.* Rising temperatures, widespread water stress, increased frequency and severity of droughts and floods, and rising sea levels will severely damage progress on development goals in Africa.* Cereal crop yields could fall between 10 to 30 percent by the 2050s compared to 1990 levels.* Heat waves will bring increased injuries and death.* Vector- and water-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and cholera may increase.

An additional 67 million people in Africa could be at risk of malaria epidemics by the 2080s.Greenhouse gases must be curbed and help must be given to vulnerable Africans to adapt to the new climate conditions. The cost of climate-proofing current investment plans will be between $10bn and $40bn.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-will-be-catastrophe-for-africa-478375.html

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URBAN PATIENTS' UTILISATION OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE:UPHOLDING CULTURE AND TRADITION

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Debie LeBeau, Lecturer in SociologyUniversity of Namibia
Sociology DepartmentWindhoek, Namibiaemail: lebeau@iwwn.com.na

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThe following individuals helped with information used in the compilation of this paper: Siballi E.I. Kgobetsi, Saara Witbooi, Paulina Hangara, Thomas Sibiya, Naomi Pacheko and Dr. Jeremiah Mwene (Dr. Jerry). I would like to give a special word of my thanks to my esteemed colleague, Siballi Kgobetsi, who helped to facilitate my attendance at this workshop.

INTRODUCTION

Before I started researching traditional medicine in Katutura (Windhoek's "high density" area), I read several books, journal articles and papers written about the use of traditional medicine. Most of the accounts that I read were based on research done may years ago in the most remote rural areas the researchers could find.

The presumed justification for the remoteness of the research was to study the "unspoiled" authentic and most true forms of African traditional medicine...traditional medicine (supposedly) practiced as it has been for centuries. Many of these accounts describe how traditional medicine is based on the religio-magico beliefs of the participants and that only by belonging to the same ethnic group, with the same religio-magico beliefs could traditional medicine work; therefore, traditional healer and patient had to belong to the same ethnic group for the medicine to work. The assumption was that traditional medicine had no basis in efficacy, but was solely based on the beliefs of the people using it.

These same researchers also said that patients are forced to use traditional medicine due to the absence of western medicine in such remote rural areas. Through the course of the years, researchers continued to go to remote rural areas, continued to study "uncontaminated" traditional medicine and continued to perpetuate each others' myths. These self-perpetuated myths soon became "assumptions" about the use of traditional medicine, assumptions which remained unquestioned through the course of many studies relating to the utilisation of traditional medicine. These assumptions (myths) are:
1.).Traditional medicine is culturally based and therefore patient and healer must come from the same ethnic group for the medicine to work;
2.)Traditional medicine is based on religio-magico beliefs and has very little efficacy outside of this belief system; and
3.).When given a choice, patients choose to use western medicine due to its alleged superior healing powers.

Today, some researchers have begun to question these assumptions and have demonstrated that the basis for these assumptions are simply not true (ELCI) 1998 and LeBeau 1996). A discussion of all three myths about the utilisation of traditional medicine is not possible in the time allotted; therefore, I will focus on the third assumption: that patients will only use traditional medicine when no other alternative exists.

BACKGROUND

After an extensive search of the literature on Southern Africa, I discovered only a few serious attempts at researching utilisation of traditional medicine in Africa's urban areas, areas where the assumption that patients use traditional medicine mainly due to the absence of western medicine could be tested due to the presence of multiple health care options. Although more users of traditional medicine do live in the rural areas,incidence rates for the utilisation of traditional medicine, especially spirit mediums, has increased in the urban areas of several southern African countries (LeBeau 1995:3).

This increase is due in part to the urban dwellers' failure to uphold traditional values and perform the necessary rituals to the ancestors. Witchcraft is seen as rampant in Zambia's urban areas due to rival forces and increased competition in the urban environment (Dillon-Malone 1988:1159 - 1160).Cavender indicates that utilisation patters for traditional medicine are different in Zimbabwe's urban areas, showing an increase of variation in use between modern and traditional health care (1991:364). Staugard found thatpeople in urban Botswana tend to utilise different types of traditional healers with about equal frequency (1986:62). Gelfand states that witchcraft accusations, social discontetion, ill health and other socio-medical factors at the village level in Zimbabwe can cause some people, who would not otherwise do so, to move to towns (1964:157 - 159).

A study of traditional healers in urban Botswana determined that many people in the urban areas still use traditional medicine (Staugard 1986). Staugard states that about two-thirds of the rural and one-third of the urban population had been to a traditional healer during the 12 month time period preceding the research (1986:61 - 62). It is their categorisation of disease that leads patients to chose between alternatives in health care (Staugard 1986:63). People categorise diseases as "European" or "Tswana". European diseases are those like smallpox and tuberculosis while Tswana diseases are indigenous (Edouard 1986:438). Staugard states that witchcraft is still prevalent and traditional medicine still plays an important role in the social lives of the people. Healers in Tswana society are not only medicine men, they are religious leaders, marriage counsellors, and social workers (Staugard 1986:52).

INFLUENCE OF CULTURE ON HEALTH AND ILLNESS

As we can see from Staugard's discussion of health seeking determinates in Botswana, culture is very important in shaping our beliefs about the way we think the world works. It is based on these beliefs that we act in one way or another. As with other cultural attributes, all groups of people have concepts about health and illness that are part of their culture.

A group's concept of health does not exist in a vacuum, but is based on the world view of the people and is connected to other parts of their culture (LeBeau 1997:2). Every culture has an ideology of how to stay healthy, how to prevent diseases and how to treat people who are sick. Although western health care personnel think that their method of health care is scientific, it is also based on the world view of modern Euro-western concepts of what is scientific. This world view of medicine came to be termed "biological/scientific". In this view, society tries to explain the world around it through scientific investigation. Another worldview of health and illness which is based on spiritual beliefs and ritualhealing might be termed "social/spiritual". In this world view, society tries to explain the world around it in terms of good and evil spirits, spiritual intervention and supernatural causes of misfortune. In both cases, the concepts relating to health and illness are interrelated to other beliefs about how the universe is organized. A health care system is part of the people's world view and cannot be divorced from their culture. A health care system includes all of the cultural beliefs and practices which have a direct or indirect effect on the health of people within that particular culture (McElroy and Townsend 1989:72).Since health care systems are part of people's world view, they will utilize the system which thy believe will give them the best likelihood of success.

TRADITIONAL HEALERS IN URBAN NAMIBIA

I decided to research health care utilization in an urban setting because of the availability of several health care systems including the popular, western and traditional health care systems. Since all three health care systems are available in Katutura, the utilization of one system represents a conscious choice by the patient and is not due to the lack of another system. The use of one system over another can be attributed to social factors rather than access and distance of modern health care facilities as was assumed by ruralresearchers of traditional medicine.The popular health care sector is defined as the home or community in which the people live. Health seeking behaviour in this arena takes place through informal consultations with neighbours and friends who share the same beliefs about health and illness (Allais 1995:7). The western health care system is the State recognised health care system which is biomedical in focus while the traditional medical system is the non-western healing system with such specialists as faith healers, spirit mediums, herbalists, bone setters and traditional birth attendants.In the urban areas there are also practitioners of traditional medicine from Namibia's different ethnic groups. Due to Namibia's heterogeneity, some groups have higher utilisation patterns of traditional medicine than others and patients from any ethnic group can utilise traditional healers from other ethnic groups; thereby giving the patient even more alternatives for health care. For example, it is well known in Namibia that the Hereto healers are powerful and one utilises their services for particularly powerful types of witchcraft. In addition, there are many Sangomas from South Africa who enjoy notoriety for their ability to deal with imbalances in social relationships.Thus, people in Katutura have three different health care systems which they can access, as well as traditional healers from a range of ethnic groups. This variation in health care options makes health seeking behaviour in Katutura quite complex.

PATTERNS OF URBAN UTILISATION

Once someone has determined that they are not well, that they have a disease or illness, they begin a process of seeking solutions that will restore their health or well-being; a process referred to here as health seeking behaviour. A person may seek the advice or assistance of friends, relatives and neighbours,go to a pharmacy for medication (self-medication), go to a hospital or clinic or go to a traditional healer. In Katutura, patients have easy access to all of the various forms of health care mentioned above. Therefore, the choices they make concerning health seeking behaviour are due to their perceptions of the nature of their disease or illness.Different patterns of utilisation depend on perceived cause, reason and origin (aetiology) of disease and illness. Some disorders are considered clearly African illnesses while some are considered clearly western diseases. In the case where the aetiology of the disorder is positively identified by the patient, a single use pattern of health care utilisation will be employed. Some disorders have an African (social/spiritual) aetiology but a biological manifestation (disease) in which case both medical systems will be usedsimultaneously, while some disorders are of indeterminate aetiology until treatment begins, in which case a multi-faceted use pattern will take place.It is important to understand the concept of "cause" in this paradigm. Cause is separate from the actual manifestation of the disease or illness. For example,a person could fall and injure his or her arm which requires hospitalisation and even surgery. This injury to the arm is biological; however, the question remains, "Why did the person fall like that, at just that time and in just that manner to injure the arm?" This question is the basis for the question of cause. If the person has a western world view he or she may believe that the fall was due to an "accident" or "being clumsy", but if the person has a non-western world view he or she may believe that the cause of the fall was due to means such as witchcraft or bad luck.In the case of the former, the only action required is to be "more careful" whereas in the case of the latter the person may need to go to a traditional healer and be checked, cleaned and protected against witchcraft at the same time as he or she is being treated for the biological injury to the arm. As you can see from this example, where a person seeks health care depends not only on the affliction, but also on the perceived cause of the ailment.Based on aetiology of a disorder three distinct patterns for health care utilisation can be identified: single health care system utilisation whereby either the traditional or western health system is used but not both, simultaneous utilisation of more than one health care system or sequential (multi-faceted) utilisation of different health care systems.

FAILURE OF WESTERN MEDICINE

Although a person's perceptions of the cause of the illness influences his or her health seeking behaviour, another important factor in health seeking behaviour is the patient's previous experience with efforts at seeking health. Typically when a person first determines that he or she is not well, that person may, for a while, try different suggestions and different self-treatment methods. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the person will re-evaluate his or her illness condition and determine what other treatments are available andnecessary for re-establishing well-being. The patient may then go to a clinic or hospital to seek western medical help and advice concerning the health problem. If, for example, a patient with a skin disorder goes to a western medical doctor, but is unhappy with the results of the treatment he or she is likely to turn to other methods of healing in order to achieve the desired results. Many patients who present themselves to traditional healers have already sought the help of western medicine but with unsatisfactory results.Thus, failure of a medical system will cause the patient to shift to another treatment system. In this case, the western medical system is far more likely to be perceived as having failed than the traditional medical system. If western medicine fails then traditional medicine is sought in the belief that:1.)it is an African illness (social/spiritual aetiology) and therefore western medicine is the wrong treatment or,2.) western medicine does not work due to poor western health care provision and resistance of western medical personnel to addressing traditional beliefs about health and illness.

Traditional medicine is far less likely to be perceived as failing; however, if traditional treatment does fail it is due to the fact that:1.) it is a biological/western disease (very unlikely) or2.) the wrong healer or treatment was sought rather than some innate problem with the health care system. Listed below in Table 1 are some of the most often identified reasons why western medicine has failed in Africa.

TABLE 1.

HOW THE WESTERN MEDICAL SYSTEM HAS FAILED IN AFRICA

* Facilities are inaccessible for much of the population. In some urban areas the average waiting time at a hospital or clinic can be as much as 8 hrs.
* The staff are poorly trained and unmotivated. Many staff members believing they hold superior knowledge, treat patients inconsiderately.
* Patients are frequently not told the nature and cause of their illness.* There are inadequate technical services leading to poor quality care.
* The treatment costs too much, even for state run hospitals and clinics.
* Governments spend a large proportion of the Per Capita gross national product on western health care.
* Treatment is divorced from the patient's culture, family and community. Patients are removed from the family and community, stripped of their identity and forced into a sterile hospital setting.
* The treatment only addresses a patient's biological manifestation of the illness and does not attempt to heal spiritual aspects of illness.(adapted from Lashari 1984:175 - 177, Ojanuga 1981:407 - 410 and Yangni-Angate1981:240 - 244)

REASONS FOR URBAN UTILISATION

There are several reasons why patients continue to utilise traditional medicine in Katutura, even though they have easy access to all of the various health care systems. As previously discussed, the choices they make in health seeking behaviour are due to their perceptions of the nature of their disease or illness, their cultural understanding of the cause of the illness, the efficacy of the various treatments and their previous experience with the various health care alternatives (LeBeau 1995:3).

However, there are many other reasons why people living in the urban areas continue to use traditional medicine even when presented with other health care choices. Table 2 below lists some of these reasons. As we can see from this table, traditional medicine is part of the patient's culture, and as such its use is based on the cultural value the patient places on it. As we have previously discussed, a health care system is part of the people's culture. One cannot remove health care from its cultural context.

Since traditional healers treat the patient's spiritual, as well as biological manifestation of a problem, this treatment is more holistic in approach and based on an attempt to heal the whole person. In addition,traditional healers treat the patient within the family and community, thus they do not remove the patient from his or her social support network.

TABLE 2.ADVANTAGES OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

* People have faith in traditional healers and they are well respected in their communities.
* They are part of the people's culture. They treat the spiritual as well as biological cause of an illness.
* They address social/spiritual illnesses (such as theft and bad luck) which western medicine does not treat.
* They provide the answer to the question of cause.* They are proficient at healing a range of biological diseases such as diarrhoea, vomiting, skin disorders and mental illness.
* They allow the family, and possibly the entire community to be part of the healing process.
* They are accessible to everyone, even in the most remote villages and areas.
* They do not require expensive or sophisticated technical equipment.(adapted from Lashari 1984:175 - 177, Ojanuga 1981:407 - 410 and Yangni-Angate1981:240 - 244).As well as these advantages of using traditional healers, there are also problems specific to living in an urban environment which lead to the need for traditional healing.

For example, in urban areas many people come into contact with other people who they normally would not be in contact with, thus causing "cultural contamination". Contamination can also come from simple contact or from the breaking of taboos (mostly sexual) such as mixed marriages and partnerships. In both cases of contamination, traditional cleansing isnecessary.
Urban dwellers are also more likely to fail to uphold traditions, ceremonies and respect for the ancestors or elders and are therefore more likely to break taboos because they are living "the modern life".

The breaking of taboos can cause removal of ancestor protection, contamination, misfortune or witchcraft which are also reasons to seek the attention of a traditional healer. The most frequently given reason for the increased use of traditional healers in the urban areas is the high prevalence of witchcraft accusations due to a breakdown in social relations or increased competition and jealousy.

Social relations are very important but unpredictable and problematic in urban areas; therefore, witchcraft accusations are used to stabilise relationships when there is a conflict in a social relationship but it is desired to continue the relationship. Witchcraft accusation can also be used to justify the ending of a relationship. When things go wrong it can be attributed to witchcraft or jealousy of others. Witchcraft accusation can also be used to sway influence over others by using threats of witchcraft in an attempt to influence the behaviour of others.In addition to problems in social relationships, witchcraft accusations can also be caused by increased competition in the urban areas for scarce resources such as jobs, money and sexual partners. Competition and jealousy also come from the distrust of people from other cultural groups, jealousy of others who succeed or fear of jealousy by others. As Dillon-Malone puts it, "witchcraft is rampant in the urban areas" (1981:1159 - 1172).

PROBLEMS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS

In Katutura, an urban African residential area, people continue to use traditional healers. Traditional healers are part of their culture and provide treatments and healing techniques which are not available through any other health care system. The old assumption that people go to traditional healers because there is no western medicine available is not true. People go to traditional healers because they choose to, not because they have to. However, there are problems that traditional healers in the urban areas face which rural healers are not as likely to confront.

For example, in a village setting every person is known to others in the village; however, in the urban areastraditional healers can come from outside the area and their skills are not known to others in the community This leads to a situation where charlatans come, exploit patients and leave. Honest, hardworking traditional healers are left to deal with angry, dissatisfied patients.

In addition, charlatans give all traditional healers a bad name whereby people see only the charlatans and claim that all traditional healers are charlatans. Traditional healers in the urban areas are more highly visible to the wider society than those in the rural areas; therefore, if a traditional healer in the urban area makes a mistake, western orientated people are quick to point a finger and use this as an example of how all traditional medicine has failed.

Western medical personnel are usually the first to point out problems related to traditional medicine. In addition there are more opportunities in the urban areas leading to increased competition between traditional healers whereby some healers (mostly older healers) are barely able to make a living.Traditional healers in the urban areas still enjoy a high degree of prestige and popularity. Urban populations in Africa do not forget their culture and use traditional healers as part of their health seeking behaviour. However, it is up to traditional healers themselves to see to it that their reputation is clean. Urban healers have a responsibility to their rural counterparts to practice in a respectable and responsible manner. Traditional healers have much to offer their western counterparts and their dedicated patients. It is part of people's culture and traditional healers are entrusted with the maintenance of customs and culture, which is especially important in the face of the western cultural (including medical) onslaught.As one old male traditional haler summed up traditional medicine in the urban areas, "Ah, these people today old men are out and witchcraft is in".

REFERENCESAllais, Carol (ed)1995
Sociology of Health and Illness. LexiconPublishers:JohannesburgCavender, A.P. 1991 "Traditional Medicine and Inclusive Model of Health seeking Behaviour in Zimbabwe".
Central African Journal of Medicine, vol. 31, no.11, pp362 - 365Dillon-Malone, Clive 1988 Mtumwa Nchimi Healers and Wizadry Beliefs in Zambia".Social Science and Medicine, vol. 26,no.11, pp 1159 - 1172

Edouard, Lindsay1986 "Traditional Medicine in Botswana-Traditional Healers". (Book review).

World Health Forum. vol.7, pp 437 - 438Gelfand, Michael 1964 Medicine and Customs in Africa. London: E & S.Livingstone LTD.Lashari, Mohammad Saleh1984 "Traditional and modern Medicine - Is a Marriage possible?" World HealthForum. vol 5, pp 175 - 177

LeBeau, Debie 1997 "Health Seeking Behaviour in a Multi-ethnic Society", draft paper prepared for the Association for Anthropology in Southern Africa. 1996 "Health, Illness and Witchcraft", paper presented at the joint conference of the Pan African Anthropological Association and the Association for Anthropology in Southern Africa. September 1996.1995 "Seeking Health:

Models of Health Care and the Hierarchy of resort in Utilisation Patterns of Traditional and Modern Medicine in Multi-ethnicKatutura,Namibia". PhD proposal presented to the Department of Anthropology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, SA.McElroy, Ann and Patricia K. Townsend 1989

Medical Anthropology: In Ecological Pespective. Westview Press:Colorado.Ojanuga, Durrenda Nash 1981 "What Doctors think of Traditional Healers – and vice versa". World Health Forum vol.2(3),pp 407-410.

Staugard, Frantslast, 1986 Traditional Health Care in Botswana. In theProfessionalisation of African Medicine, Last, Murray and G.L. Chavunduka (ed). Manchester University Press: England.Traditional Healers Professional Board1997

Minutes of Meeting held on September 26,1997.Yangni-Angata 1981 "Understanding Traditional Medicine". World Health Forum,Vol. 2(2),Pp 240-244

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Empowering West African farmers with information to cope with climate change

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Empowering West African farmers with information to cope with climate change
Empowering West African farmers with information to cope with climate change

Source: World Meteorological Organization (WMO); Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Date: 27 Apr 2009Press Release No.843Geneva, 27 April 2009 (WMO/FAO).

West African farmers are facing increasing threats from climate change. Changes in the frequency of droughts, heatwaves, floods, storms, frost-freezes and locusts require that the agricultural sector take adaptation measures to cope with the impacts of climate change. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), the State Agency for Meteorology of Spain (AEMET) and partners are this week bringing together 70 experts and key decision-makers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to discuss and recommend collaborative mitigation and adaptation options for the agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries sectors in West Africa.

Home to 43 per cent of the total population in sub-Saharan Africa, West Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change. According to the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, the annual rainfall in West Africa has decreased 20 to 40 per cent from the period 1931-1960 to 1968-1990. Future projections from IPCC indicate that Africa is very likely to warm during this century, decreasing the length of the growing season and yield potential in many parts of West Africa.

In some countries, yields from rainfed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 per cent by 2020. The survival of a large population in West Africa depends on semi-subsistence agriculture and farmers are struggling to preserve their livelihoods."These pressures will demand the development and implementation of the most appropriate methods to address vulnerabilities in terms of weather, climate and water, which is the realm of WMO's competence" said Mr Michel Jarraud, the WMO Secretary-General. "Accordingly, a principal WMO goal is to make farmers more self-reliant, by better preparing them to cope with major issues influencing agricultural production.

In particular, to deal with climate change and its impacts more effectively in West Africa, it will increasingly be necessary to use science to identify integrated adaptation and mitigation strategies for a range of agro-ecosystems."The International Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change in West African Agriculture in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 27 to 30 April 2009, will discuss these next steps, by both further identifying and understand climate impacts and vulnerability and then selecting and implementing adaptation actions.

The workshop is organized by WMO, FAO, AEMET, the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, the International Livestock Research Institute, the African Development Bank and the Economic Community of West African States. Five International Agricultural Research Centers, under the auspices of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research will also participate and contribute actively to the discussions during the workshop."International collaboration is a vital component of any efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change in West Africa," said H.E. Gilbert G. Noel Ouedraogo, Minister of Transport, Government of Burkina Faso.

"The challenge is global but the effects are local, and require cooperation at every level.""Millions of farmers around the globe could become agents of change helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable agriculture holds the promise to help mitigate climate change through carbon storage and a better use of carbon in crops," said Peter Holmgren, Director of FAO's Environment, Climate Change and Bioenergy Division. "Farmers, particularly in poor countries, should therefore be involved in carbon sequestration."Adaptation strategies that the workshop could consider include: more efficiently using water; changing to other crop varieties; altering timing of planting crops; improving the effectiveness of pest, disease and weed management practices; and making better use of seasonal climate forecasts to reduce production risks. Such measures have substantial potential to offset negative impacts from climate change and take advantage of positive impacts.

The Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change in West African Agriculture is expected to improve the integration of such adaptation strategies with mitigation and sustainable agricultural development.Climate adaptation and risk management, particularly for the agricultural sector, will be a major topic of discussion at World Climate Conference-3, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 31 August to 4 September 2009.

WMO is the United Nations' authoritative voice on weather, climate and waterFor more information please contact:at WMO:Ms Carine Richard-Van Maele, Chief, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel.: +41 (0)22 730 83 15; Email:cpa[at]wmo.intMs Gaëlle Sévenier, Press Officer, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel. +41 (0) 22 730 8417. E-mail: gsevenier[at]wmo.int;Ms Lisa Munoz, Press Officer, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel. +41 (0) 22 730 8213. E-mail: lmunoz[at]wmo.int

Web site: http://www.wmo.int

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29 April 2009

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Climate change 'hitting Africa'

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Climate change 'will dry Africa'By Richard BlackEnvironment Correspondent, BBC News website“ Our model predicts an extremely dry Sahel in the future ” Isaac Held, Noaa Two new studies predict that climate change will make dry regions of Africa drier still in the near future.Computer models of the global climate show the Sahel region and southern Africa drying substantially over the course of this century.

Sahel rainfall declined sharply in the late 20th Century, with droughts responsible for several million deaths.The research comes just after the latest United Nations summit on climate change opened in Montreal."Our model predicts an extremely dry Sahel in the future," said Dr Isaac Held of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), whose team publishes its research in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)."If we compare it against the drought in the 1970s and 80s, the late 21st Century looks even drier - a 30% reduction in rainfall from the average for the last century," he told the BBC News website.

Sahel rainfall fell dramatically in the second half of the 20th Century; since 1970, about half of the region has been in severe drought.In the late 1980s, a recovery began, but rainfall is not back to pre-1970 levels.Southern Africa has fared better than the Sahel, but research by another Noaa group led by Marty Hoerling also projects a drier future for this region."Between 1950 and 1999, there has been about a 20% decline in summer rainfall over southern Africa," he told the BBC News website."Our modelling indicates much more substantial ongoing drying, with the epicentre for drought in Africa effectively moving further south."Dr Hoerling's study has been submitted to the Journal of Climate for publication.Getting physicalThis latest research may help pin down the physical processes which determine African rainfall."What we do know from observations is that if you have a warm north Atlantic and a cool south Atlantic you'll get increased Sahel rainfall, and vice versa," said Professor Chris Folland from the UK Meteorological Office."But even temperatures in the Mediterranean sea can affect it as well."“ No model has ever been run of an atmosphere with increased greenhouse gas concentrations that hasn't produced a warming ” Chris Folland, UK Met OfficeThe theory is that if the North Atlantic warms more than waters further south, the rain belt is pulled north over the Sahel; if the southern waters warm more, rain retreats south again, leaving the Sahel dry.

The key to southern African rainfall, meanwhile, may be temperatures in the Indian Ocean, according to Marty Hoerling's results.Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are projected to increase temperatures in the Indian Ocean and the differential between temperatures in the north and south Atlantic.Super modelsProjecting future climate change is far from an exact science, and other computer models of African regions have come up with different results.But these latest results demonstrate how severe the impacts of human-induced global warming may be for some of the poorest countries on the planet.

The fact that their predictions contrast with other models of the same regions also indicate the problems which policymakers face in trying to adapt to the local consequences of global climate change.Scientists attempt to validate the various models by seeing how well they simulate the climate of the recent past - the climate we know - when all the key data is fed in."Our simulation of the 20th Century is closer to what was observed in Africa than other models," said Isaac Held."That's why we're giving this model credence, though it's not enough to be certain."The key, according to Chris Folland, is to develop better models which can tie local details into global simulations; but he fully rejects the conclusion drawn by some climate change sceptics that models are so unreliable as to be next to useless."No model has ever been run of an atmosphere with increased greenhouse gas concentrations that hasn't produced a warming," he said."They produce different amounts of warming, but they do all produce warming and that's a universal result."Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/sci/tech/4479640.stm

Published: 2005/11/29 22:37:03 GMT© BBC MMIX

Climate change 'hitting Africa'
Climate change 'hitting Africa'Climate change is already affecting people across Africa and will wipe out efforts to tackle poverty there unless urgent action is taken, a report says.Droughts are getting worse and climate uncertainty is growing, the research from a coalition of UK aid agencies and environmental groups says.

Climate change is an "unprecedented" threat to food security, it says.It calls for a "climate-proof" model of development and massive emissions cuts to avoid "possibly cataclysmic change".The report, Up In Smoke 2, updates previous research from the organisations - Oxfam, the New Economics Foundation and the Working Group on Climate Change and Development, an umbrella group of aid and green groups.“ Global warming is set to make many of the problems which Africa already deals with, much, much worse ” Andrew Simms New Economics Foundation Simms interview It says that although climates across Africa have always been erratic, scientific research and the experience of the contributing groups "indicates new and dangerous extremes".

Arid or semi-arid areas in northern, western, eastern and parts of southern Africa are becoming drier, while equatorial Africa and other parts of southern Africa are getting wetter, the report says.The continent is, on average, 0.5C warmer than it was 100 years ago, but temperatures have risen much higher in some areas - such as a part of Kenya which has become 3.5C hotter in the past 20 years, the agencies report.Andrew Simms, from the New Economics Foundation, said: "Global warming is set to make many of the problems which Africa already deals with, much, much worse," he said."In the last year alone, 25 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have faced food crisis."Global warming means that that many dry areas are going to get drier and wet areas are going to get wetter.

They are going to be caught between the devil of drought and the deep blue seas of floods."He added that the "great tragedy" was that Africa had played virtually no role in global warming, a problem he said was caused by economic activity of the rich, industrial countries.Mr Simms said unless climate change was tackled all the "best efforts" to help Africa could come to nothing.One of the biggest threats is growing climate unpredictability, which makes subsistence farming difficult, the report says.The average number of food emergencies in Africa per year almost tripled since the mid 1980s, it points out.But it says that better planning to reduce the risk from disasters, together with developing agricultural practices that can withstand changing climates, have been shown to work and could help mitigate the impact if used be more widely.'Overwhelming'Up in Smoke 2 also laments the failure of industrialised governments to help developing countries adapt to climate change.Between $10bn (£5.2bn) and $40bn is needed annually, the report says, but industrialised countries have given only $43m - a tenth of the amount they have pledged - while rich country fossil fuel subsidies total $73bn a year.The agencies say that greenhouse emissions cuts of 60% - 90% will ultimately be needed - way beyond the targets set in the Kyoto agreement."Climate change is overwhelming the situation in Africa... unless we take genuine steps now to reduce our emissions, people in the developed world will be condemning millions to hunger, starvation and death," said Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth.

The report comes two weeks before a key summit on climate change in Nairobi, where delegates will look at the progress made on the Kyoto agreement that requires industrial nations to cut their emissions by an average of 5.2% from 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012.Delegates will also consider what system should be adopted when the current period ends.Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/6092564.stm

Published: 2006/10/28 23:44:57 GMT© BBC MMIX

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Global Warming: Africa Will Suffer the Worst if we Don’t Act

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Global Warming: Africa Will Suffer the Worst if we Don’t Act2008-05-02 by renewenergy

Global warming is a reality and not a myth. That is why I strongly advocate for Africa’s active participation in joining the global coalitions addressing this important issue as it is our planet and our lives that are at stake.African nations that waited for the United States to make a move and then take a cue from this “world leader” have been disappointed by the Bush administration on this matter.

Despite former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s landmark documentary of “The Inconvenient Truth”, America did not support the Kyoto protocol. It was not until December 2007 when 80 nations from across the world meeting in Bali applied “arm-twisting” tactics that the Bush administration received its first wake-up call to jump onto the bandwagon.A delegate from Papua New Guinea rebuked the United States in these words: “We seek your leadership. But if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way.

”Although the U.S. federal government has been moving sluggishly on matters of global warming, many individual states have taken concrete measures to cut fossil fuel emissions and introduced “clean energy policies” that would save our planet and life on it after many years of reckless human plunder.The “inconvenient truth”Political pundits have accused the U.S. administration of delay tactics, for – despite knowing that global warming was real – believing (wrongly) that addressing such a problem would end up hurting American industry and its workforce. The Bush experts were wrong here, for, according to Environmental Protection Agency, studies, “the U.S. acid rain program reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 30 percent from 1990 levels and cost a fraction of what the government originally estimated.

”The “inconvenient truth” the whole world – including Africa! – must face is that we have a problem caused by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, as well as cutting down forests. For Africa (where DDT is still in use in some countries), the problem is real and desertification is reducing the continent’s capacity to feed itself.“Between 1961 and 1997, the world’s glaciers lost 890 cubic miles of ice.

Rising air temperatures are the most important factor behind the retreat of glaciers on a global scale,” according to Environmental Defense Fund, U.S. nonprofit organization.I emphasize here that much of it is man-made.Scientists have also observed that the depletion of the ozone is due to man-made chemicals like “chloro-fluoro carbons (CFCs) leading to a thinner ozone layer that lets through more harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reach the earth’s surface.”Millions more to face starvationA study by scientists on global warming concluded that “Nations of South Africa – Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe could lose about 30 percent of their main crop of corn (maize) fueling malnutrition through climatic change.”About 770 million Africans who live in rural areas (63 percent of the population) and rely on peasant small-holder farms for their food and wood as their major source of fuel and medicinal plants as their main cure against disease; recurring droughts, floods, and soil degradation can be a real nightmare.

Africa today is facing climate change by way of warming temperatures in drought-prone areas, sea levels are rising, coral beaches are being eaten away on its coastlines, glaciers on mountains are melting away, and epidemics are on the rise.Let me bring up a few examples of real issues: In Senegal, sea-level rising has eaten away parts of Rufisque on the south coast. An alarming 92 percent of Mount Kenya’s Lewis Glacier has disappeared over the last 100 years. For Tanzania and its majestic Kilimanjaro, 82 percent of its ice has disappeared since 1912 and it is projected that the whole ice cap will vanish by the year 2020.For Uganda, glaciers on Mount Ruwenzori have decreased by 75 percent since 1990s. For the coastline of East Africa, coral bleaching has occurred in Seychelles, Kenya, Reunion, Mauritius, Somalia and Madagascar.

Lake Chad’s surface area has decreased from 9,650 square miles in 1963 to 521 today.In January 2000, South Africa experienced its driest record temperatures of 104 F (40 C) fueling extensive fires on the coast in the West Cape Province. Indeed the African continent is in peril.African and climate change ‘intrinsically linked’Scientists have predicted that due to global warming, less rain will fall in parts of Africa leading to “a decrease in water-availability in about 25 percent of the continent.” Less water in the continent will adversely affect both human and animal lives as well as the entire ecosystem in the region.Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa has issued this clarion call: “It is important to understand that Africa and climate change are intrinsically linked, as climate change will affect the welfare of Africans for years to come.”The British newspaper, The Independent, observed: “Aid policy for Africa as a whole needs a complete rethink in climate change terms, because the continent is uniquely vulnerable to climatic shifts, with 70 percent of its people being immediately dependant on rain-fed, small scale agriculture.”Given the ugly truth before our eyes, what is the way forward for Africa?

The African Union must take it upon itself to form a continental coalition to address global warming and collectively strategize through research to help find solutions that will save lives and stop the plunder that is destroying our planet.I wish to repeat just one more time (at the expense of boring you?) that there is strength in Unity, hence my unapologetic call for the creation of a United States of Africa to help find common solutions to common problems facing us.http://renewenergy.wordpress.com/2008/05/02/global-warming-africa-will-suffer-the-worst-if-we-don%E2%80%99t-act/


Agriculture and Climate Change
Agriculture and Climate ChangeAn Agenda for Negotiation in Copenhagen, December 2009.Goal: Put agriculture on the agenda of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen.If fundamental climate change mitigation and adaptation goals are to be met, international climate negotiations must include agriculture. Agriculture and climate change are linked in important ways, and this brief focuses on three: (1) climate change will have large effects on agriculture, but precisely where and how much are uncertain, (2) agriculture can help mitigate climate change, and (3) poor farmers will need help adapting to climate change. As negotiations get underway in advance of the meeting of the 15th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December 2009, this brief suggests negotiating outcomes for both mitigation and adaptation funding that will support climate change goals while enhancing the well-being of people who manage and depend on agriculture, especially in the developing world.Climate change will affect agriculture, but it is uncertain where and how muchClimate change will have dramatic consequences for agriculture.

Water sources will become more variable, droughts and floods will stress agricultural systems, some coastal food-producing areas will be inundated by the seas, and food production will fall in some places in the interior. Developing economies and the poorest of the poor likely will be hardest hit. Overall, however, substantial uncertainty remains about where the effects will be greatest.

Agricultural outcomes are determined by complex interactions among people, policies, and nature. Crops and animals are affected by changes in temperature and precipitation, but they are also influenced by human investments such as irrigation systems, transportation infrastructure, and animal shelters.

Given the uncertainties about where climate change will take place and how farmers will respond, much is still unknown about the effects of climate change on agricultural production, consumption, and human well-being, making it difficult to move forward on policies to combat the effects of climate change.

Suggested negotiating outcome: Fund research on the interactions between climate change and agricultureResearch should be funded that improves understanding and predictions of the interactions between climate change and agriculture. Climate change assessment tools are needed that are more geographically precise, that are more useful for agricultural policy and program review and scenario assessment, that more explicitly incorporate the biophysical constraints that affect agricultural productivity, and that better integrate biophysical and socioeconomic scenarios.Agriculture can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Today, agriculture contributes about 14 percent of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and land-use change, including forest loss, contributes another 19 percent. The relative contributions differ dramatically by region. The developing world accounts for about 50 percent of agricultural emissions and 80 percent of land-use change and forestry emissions.The formal inclusion of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) in the current negotiations is a result of a new appreciation of the importance of this source of GHGs and initial findings of low-cost opportunities to reduce them.

Significant challenges remain, however. What are the best ways to dissuade poor people from cutting down trees and converting other lands to unsustainable agricultural practices and to encourage them to adopt technologies and management strategies that mitigate carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions? The tasks ahead include identifying and supporting the most appropriate approaches in farmers’ fields and monitoring their implementation.Suggested negotiating outcome: Fund cost-effective mitigation in agriculture and research on promising technologies and management systems.

Agriculture has huge potential to cost-effectively mitigate GHGs through changes in agricultural technologies and management practices. Changing crop mixes to include more plants that are perennial or have deep root systems increases the amount of carbon stored in the soil. Cultivation systems that leave residues and reduce tillage, especially deep tillage, encourage the buildup of soil carbon. Shifting land use from annual crops to perennial crops, pasture, and agroforestry increases both above- and below-ground carbon stocks. Changes in crop genetics and the management of irrigation, fertilizer use, and soils can reduce both nitrous oxide and methane emissions.

Changes in livestock species and improved feeding practices can also cut methane emissions. Mitigation funding programs arising from the negotiations should thus include agriculture.Suggested negotiating outcome: Fund low-cost systems for monitoring agricultural mitigationIt is much easier to monitor 1,500 U.S. coal-fired power plants than several million smallholder farmers who rely on field, pasture, and forest for their livelihoods. Nonetheless, promising technologies exist for reducing the costs of tracking the performance of agricultural mitigation programs. For example, microsatellites can be used for frequent, high-resolution land cover imaging, inexpensive standardized methods are available to test soil carbon, and simple assessment methods can adequately quantify the effects of management technologies on methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

These monitoring technologies and others require funding.Suggested negotiating outcome: Allow innovative payment mechanisms and support for novel institutions for agricultural mitigationAgricultural production differs qualitatively from other sources of GHGs in that the sources are individually small, geographically dispersed, and often served by inadequate physical and institutional infrastructure. Cost-effective payment mechanisms to encourage agricultural mitigation must reflect these differences.

Beyond the traditional schemes developed under the Kyoto Protocol, the negotiating outcome should allow and encourage alternatives that take advantage of these differences, exploiting activities beyond project-specific funding. Examples include land retirement contracts, one-time payments for physical infrastructure investments that have long-term mitigation effects, and payments for institutional innovations that encourage mitigating behavior in common property resources.Cost-effective ways are needed to help poor farmers adapt to climate changeEven with the best efforts to mitigate climate change, it is inevitable that poor farmers will be affected.

The goal is to find and fund the most cost-effective ways to help the poor adapt to the changes, a daunting task because of uncertainty about the magnitude of possible changes, their geographic distribution, and the long lead times needed to implement adaptation efforts.Suggested negotiating outcome: Allow funding mechanisms that recognize the connection between pro-poor development policies for sustainable growth and sound climate change policiesA pro-growth, pro-poor development agenda that supports agricultural sustainability also contributes to climate change adaptation.

Adaptation is easier when individuals have more resources at their command and operate in an economic environment with the flexibility to respond quickly to changes. If, as seems likely, the effects of climate change will fall disproportionately on poor farmers, a policy environment that enhances opportunities for smallholders will also be good for climate change adaptation. Such an environment would include more investment in agricultural research and extension, rural infrastructure, and access to markets for small farmers.

Funding should support these kinds of policy changes.Suggested negotiating outcome: Allow funding mechanisms that recognize and support synergies between adaptation and mitigationMany changes to management systems that make them more resilient to climate change also increase carbon sequestration. Conservation tillage increases soil water retention in the face of drought while also sequestering carbon below ground. Small-scale irrigation facilities not only conserve water in the face of greater variability, but also increase crop productivity and soil carbon.

Agroforestry systems increase above- and below-ground carbon storage while also increasing water storage below ground, even in the face of extreme climate events. Properly managed rangelands can cope better with drought and sequester significant amounts of carbon. Project- and programbased funding schemes that support adaptation should also be able to draw on mitigation resources.

Suggested negotiating outcome: Provide funds for agricultural science and technology.Even without climate change, greater investments in agricultural science and technology are needed to meet the demands of a world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Many of these people will live in the developing world, have higher incomes, and desire a more diverse diet. Agriculture science- and technology-based solutions are essential to meet those demands.Climate change places new and more challenging demands on agricultural productivity. It is urgent to pursue crop and livestock research, including biotechnology, to help overcome stresses related to climate change such as heat, drought, and novel pathogens.

Crops and livestock are needed that respond reasonably well in a range of production environments rather than extremely well in a narrow set of climate conditions. Research is also needed on how dietary changes in food animals can reduce methane emissions.One of the key lessons of the Green Revolution is that improved agricultural productivity, even if not targeted to the poorest of the poor, can be a powerful mechanism for alleviating poverty indirectly by creating jobs and lowering food prices.

Productivity enhancements that increase farmers’ resilience in the face of climate change pressures will likely have similar poverty-reducing effects.Suggested negotiating outcome: Provide funds for infrastructure and institutional innovations.Improvements in water productivity are critical, and climate change, by making rainfall more variable and changing its spatial distribution, will exacerbate the need for better water harvesting, storage, and management. Equally important is supporting innovative institutional mechanisms that give agricultural water users incentives to conserve.

Investments in rural infrastructure, both physical (such as roads, market buildings, and storage facilities) and institutional (such as extension programs, credit and input markets, and reduced barriers to internal trade) are needed to enhance the resilience of agriculture in the face of the uncertainties of climate change.Suggested negotiating outcome: Provide funds for data collection on the local context of agriculture.Agriculture is an intensely local activity.

Crop and livestock productivity, market access, and the effects of climate all are extremely location specific. Yet global efforts to collect and disseminate data on the spatial nature of agriculture, especially over time, are limited. Countries have reduced funding for national statistical programs, and remote sensed systems are still inadequate to the task of monitoring global change.

Understanding agriculture-climate interactions well enough to support adaptation and mitigation activities based on land use requires major improvements in data collection and provision.Concluding RemarksAgricultural activities around the world are responsible for almost 15 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions, could be an important sink for emissions from other sectors, and are likely to be altered dramatically by climate change. Agriculture also provides a living for more than half of the world’s poorest people.

The ongoing negotiations to address climate change provide a unique opportunity to combine low-cost mitigation and essential adaptation outcomes with poverty reduction.

http://www.ifpri.org/2020/focus/focus16/Focus16_01.pdf

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